This is a light entertainment test inspired by the one the researchers Sana Inoue and Tetsuro Matsuzawa applied to a group of chimpanzees at the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University.
The test was designed to assess the working memory of numerals. This type of memory is in charge of storing small amounts of information for a short span of time to be used in the immediate or very soon.
The working memory is often positively linked to a higher general intelligence because it retains valuable mind sub-results that may be important when performing a task1, regardless of its nature.
The Chimp Test was specifically developed to assess the working memory of chimpanzees. It was later also applied to university students for results comparison. Surprisingly, the accuracy was similar between apes and humans, but the first group outperformed the second when it came to the time they needed to memorize the position of the numerals.2 The chimpanzee Ayumu, in particular, outperformed humans in all aspects of the test - accuracy, and speed.
The researchers concluded that “young chimpanzees have an extraordinary working memory capability for numerical recollection better than that of human adults.”3
For this chimp test, you will see a set of numbers in random positions and you must click on them in order of value. The tricky part is that, once you click on the number 1, the remaining digits will turn into blank squares.
There is no time limit. You can take as long as you want to try to memorize the disposition of the numbers.
The number of digits to memorize will increase as you get the sets right. If you fail a set, you will repeat the exercise with the same number of digits but in different positions.
The test will only end when you have failed a total of three sets.
This test is designed as an entertaining and educational tool. The results do not constitute a psychological or psychiatric evaluation of any kind and may not offer an accurate portrait of the mental fitness of the test taker. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the results and these should not be used as an indicator of the capacities of the individual for a specific purpose.
Responses may be recorded and used for research purposes or to be otherwise distributed. All responses are recorded anonymously.
The Chimp Test is based on one of the tests applied to Ayumu, a young chimpanzee from the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University.
Ayumu was trained from a young age, together with his siblings and mother, to learn Arabic numbers. When they were proficient in recognizing not only the numbers but also their order, the researchers Sana Inoue and Tetsuro Matsuzawa conducted several experiments aimed at assessing the working memory of chimpanzees.
The results were then compared to those of university students who also performed the same tests as those applied to the apes. In their study published in 2017, the researchers reported that not only did chimpanzees have a more developed working memory for numerical recollection than expected, but they also actually outperformed the human subjects.
Ayumu was the chimpanzee that performed the best in these experiments, coming first among both the apes and the humans in terms of accuracy and speed. For this reason, the Chimp Test is also often called the Ayumu Test in honor of the chimp that beat everyone at it.
1 Verguts, T. & De Boeck, P. (2002). On the correlation between working memory capacity and performance on intelligence tests. Learning and Individual Differences. 13 37–55.
2 Inoue, S. & Matsuzawa, T. (2007). Supplemental Data: Working memory of numerals in chimpanzees. Current Biology, Volume 17, Issue 23, R1004 - R1005. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2007.10.027
3 Inoue, S. & Matsuzawa, T. (2007).Working memory of numerals in chimpanzees. Current Biology, Volume 17, Issue 23, R1004 - R1005. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2007.10.027
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